Official Coral Gables Community Foundation Press Release
The Coral Gables Community Foundation today awarded more than $100,000 in grants from its Community Giving Program to non-profit organizations vital to preserving the quality of life in Coral Gables, with an average grant value more than double that of any past year.
Wells Fargo Bank Vice President Kaiser Ahmed, a board member of the foundation, used the awards event to provide a generous infusion of $12,000 to the unrestricted funds needed to support the Community Giving Program.
The Community Giving Program reviewed 125 letters of inquiry in May, and narrowed the slate to 26 local organizations which would receive awards. The average grant is more than double the scale of those from 2021. In all, the Community Giving Program has made 339 grants worth nearly $1 million since the program was conceived under the leadership of Foundation Board Chair Carlos Garcia in 2014.
Giving Committee Chairs Michael Walsh and F. David Olazabal presented the grants before a packed courtyard at Bachour in Coral Gables.
“It is a tremendous point of pride for the Foundation to award grants to so many deserving organizations that serve our City. On behalf of our Board of Directors, it is our privilege to support the 26 non-profits that received grants from us this year and to see firsthand the excellent work they do serving our residents,” stated Coral Gables Community Foundation President & CEO Mary Snow.
COMMUNITY GIVING PROGRAM
The Coral Gables Community Foundation Community Giving Program awards grants to deserving local non-profit organizations that address issues within the organization’s focus areas and serve those who live, work, learn and play in Coral Gables. The Foundation’s focus areas are Education, Arts & Culture, Placemaking & Historic Preservation and Social & Health Services. The next opportunity to apply for grants in the Community Giving Program will be announced in Spring 2023.
Bake-A-Wish Cakes Miami: “Birthday Cakes for Underserved Children” – To provide birthday cakes for underprivileged youth, Bake A Wish will increase its output by about 200 cakes, including clients at Casa Valentina and St. Alban’s Child Enrichment Center.
Barnyard Community Center / Coconut Grove Cares: “Community Speech and Therapy Initiative” – The Community Speech and Therapy Initiative serves 5-13 year old children in the underserved communities within Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.
Breakthrough Miami: “Breaking Through in the Gables” – Gables Breakthroughs offers 14 Saturdays providing academic and social enrichment during the school year; a 6-week Summer Institute designed to prepare Scholars for school; and Leadership Training and support through graduation
Community Arts Program (CAP): “Creativity Through Music for All Children and Youth” – Team of 31 Teaching Artists and Specialized Behavioral Therapists will work twice weekly at Coral Gables Congregational Church for 33 weeks to serve about 200 students. Five public performances of students’ work take place throughout Miami-Dade County.
Coral Gables Art Cinema: “Family Day on Aragon Film Screenings” – Grant funds are requested to support the monthly Family Day on Aragon film screenings from August 2022 through July 2023, 12 in total. Partnership with the Coral Gables Community Foundation is specifically sought to continue to offer all Family Day film screenings free of charge to the community.
Coral Gables Museum: “Local History Field Trips for 4th Graders” – Elementary students will tour the new permanent exhibition and three tiered levels of field trip experience will be offered to schools. Students will learn about Coral Gables history, civic involvement, preservation and more. Project includes six tours to serve 360 students in grades 4 and 5 from Coral Gables area elementary schools.
Coral Gables Preparatory Academy “Turf the Courtyard” – To provide durable, engineered turf for the heavily trafficked courtyard at the center of the school, formerly Coral Gables Elementary School, which will be celebrating its Centennial in 2023.
Coral Gables Senior High School “College Campus Bus Tour” – This grant will be used to assist poor students in attending the 2022 in-state college bus tour. The tour has been approved for September 28th to the 30th, 2022. Students will visit five state schools and one private university.
Dade Heritage Trust: “Historic Biltmore Hotel Tours” – To provide Sunday Biltmore Hotel Tours, offered in partnership with the Hotel and free to the public.
Foundation for New Education Initiatives “Suitcases for Unhoused, College-bound Students” – Grant funding requested will provide six unhoused students graduating from Coral Gables Senior High School with a suitcase that contains a laptop, gift card, dorm sheets, comforter, pillow, toiletries and hangers to go to college
GableStage: “Shakespeare in the Schools: Merry Wives of Windsor at Coral Gables Senior High” – To support the 2022-23 Shakespeare in the Schools production of Merry Wives of Windsor. The project will bring a 50-minute abridged version of Shakespeare’s work to 15-18 high schools throughout Miami-Dade County, free of charge. CGCF funding will specifically support productions at Coral Gables Senior High
Girl Scouts Council of Tropical Florida “Camp Mahachee Restoration Project Phase 2” – During the invasive plant removal process, the summer priority is the Camp Mahachee entrance area off Old Cutler Road, the approximate 1-acre area of invasive sewer vine. Remediation is labor-intensive, time-consuming and iterative.
GW Carver Elementary School “Technology/Media Equipment for Broadcasting” – To acquire durable, upgradable, state of the art equipment that may be used by elementary school age participants. Children will be able to learn the technical aspects of production and grow an aptitude for journalism and broadcasting. Watch Little Carver News Network on YouTube.
George Merrick Troop 7 of Coral Gables, Scouts BSA,: “Troop 7 Scout Hut Remodeling” – To update and beautify the Scouts BSA Troop 7 Scout Cabin with new floors and tables/benches. Adequate seating and flooring enable all kinds of activities for the Pack, Troops and Crew.
Hunger & Basic Needs Program, Riviera Presbyterian Church: “Hunger Action Program” – Grant will enable mission to offer feminine hygiene products and other basic needs not covered by SNAP (e.g. diapers), no-cooking food & basic needs bags for volunteers to keep in their cars to hand out to the homeless.
Lola B Walker Homeowners Foundation of Coral Gables: “Improvement of Community Center and Operations” – Install acoustic panels to assist in noise dampening inside community center building to facilitate a better atmosphere for activities within to stop the echo.
Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired: “Developing a Learning Modality for CVI” – To benefit school age children (beginning with early learners) diagnosed with CVI or suspected of having CVI, their families, teachers, and support system. We anticipate most of these children will be racial or ethnic minorities. Youth identified with CVI will receive a CVI Range Assessment,
Miami Waterkeeper: “Water Quality Talks in Coral Gables” – To offer a series of four Lunch ’n Learn events hosted by Waterkeeper for Coral Gables residents and stakeholders. Topics will address the issues of water pollution, threats South Florida faces due to climate change, and resiliency.
Mindful Kids Miami: “Mindfulness Champions Initiative” – Offering a two-part, 14-week program to educators (teachers, counselors, social workers, administration, and general staff) of Ponce de Leon Middle School. Part 1 is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, the gold standard of mindfulness training. Part 2 brings the benefits of mindfulness directly into the classroom.
NAMI Miami-Dade: “Community Conversations / Ending the Silence for Youth” – Grant will partially fund Ending the Silence (ETS) for Youth, an evidenced-informed program that provides education, awareness and outreach to individuals, families and professionals through the schools, community, and faith-based organizations. The program is delivered in a 50-minute multimedia format that includes 2 presenters with lived experience.
Ponce de Leon Middle School: “EBD Classroom and Computer Technology” – To create a safe space EBD (Emotional and Behavioral Disability) classroom which will include furniture and televisions. Also, to upgrade computer lab technology with about 60 SSD hard-drive upgrades.
Seraphic Fire: “Season 20 Concerts in Coral Gables” – To support eight concerts in Coral Gables for the 20th Season, November 2022 to April 2023.
South Florida Digital Alliance: “ReBoot Initiative: PC’s for Frances Tucker Elementary” – To support the continuation of our ReBoot Initiative within the City of Coral Gables and, for this grant cycle, specifically providing at least 20 refurbished, Windows 10 or 11 PC’s for Tucker Elementary
St. Alban’s Child Enrichment Center: “Early Childhood Literacy and STEAM Program” – To support the Literacy and STEAM program.
YES Institute: “Youth Bullying / Crisis Prevention Training for Educators” – YES Institute’s Youth Bullying/Crisis Prevention Training for Educators works directly with professionals who serve students in Coral Gables and surrounding communities, providing training that prevents youth bullying and suicide in compliance with Florida’s Parental Rights Education Law
University of Miami Frost School of Music: “Donna E. Shalala MusicReach Program” – School-age youth are recruited from Title-I schools and community organizations to receive high-quality music lessons to support their growth. Participating students will work collaboratively in musical ensembles, creating a sense of community and teamwork, which will lead to positive behaviors within their after-care programs, as well as their neighborhoods.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Those who would like to assist in supporting these organizations can donate to the Coral Gables Community Foundation safely and conveniently online at https://gablesfoundation.org/donate/.
Volunteers – individuals, companies and schools – are welcome to join the restoration and planting project at Girl Scout Camp Mahachee in a series of work days planned this fall. Register to volunteer on the PARKnership Fund web page, or donate to support the project here: https://gablesfoundation.org/parknership-fund/.
Merrick Society: The Community Grants Program would not be possible without the generous unrestricted, annual gifts made by community leaders and philanthropists through the Merrick Society. Merrick Society is the main source for our Community Grants and Scholarship Programs. More on the Merrick Society is here: https://bit.ly/msrenew22